Most everyone’s political focus is on the election in November, but there’s another battle brewing, one that we haven’t seen the likes of for one hundred and fifty years: the fight for states’ rights. Unlike that little dust up that occurred in the 1860s, this battle doesn’t involve bullets or secession, but lawsuits and elections. The states are finally reasserting themselves, pushing back after decades of increasingly assertive and invasive power-grabs by the federal government.
When Missouri voters overwhelmingly repudiated Obamacare last week, it was the latest shot across the bow of the federal juggernaut, but it won’t be the last. A lawsuit opposing the healthcare bill, filed on behalf of twenty states and small business organizations, will move forward after a federal judge refused to grant the administration’s motion to dismiss the case without hearing it.
Fans of the healthcare bill – an ever-dwindling minority in the nation – pooh-poohed both events. The seventy-one per cent of the Missouri electorate who voted to reject the government’s mandate to purchase insurance don’t really represent Missouri’s “true feelings” they said, because more Republicans turned out to vote than Democrats. So let’s get this straight: residents of the Show Me State secretly want Obamacare very badly, but not so much that they’d actually go to the polls to make their feelings known? That’s the kind of silly illogic that could only be hatched in the mind of a liberal.
The lawsuit doesn’t matter, the administration and its supporters assure us, because the insurance mandate is clearly constitutional. Government can force people to buy auto insurance, so – obviously – they can force people to purchase health insurance too. The difference is that nobody forces anyone to drive a car. If you choose to do so, then you have to get a driver’s license, register your vehicle, get tags for it and purchase some minimum level of insurance coverage. All of those costs are the price that government exacts for the privilege of operating a motor vehicle. Don’t like it? Don’t drive.
In the case of Obamacare, however, people are forced to buy a product simply because they are an adult citizen of the United States. That’s unprecedented. If the federal government can force you to buy this product, where does it stop? What other essential goods and services might big brother force us to spend our hard-earned money on, once we’ve established this precedent?